In addition to wedding dresses and aspirational hairstyles, Pinterest users can now pin particular mobile apps. In partnership with Apple, the move effectively positions the picture-based social network as a consumer-driven app discovery platform.
Because of Apple’s involvement, Pinterest users hoping to add apps to their walls will currently have to use an iPhone or iPad.
Along with pinning apps, Pinterest users will be able to discover apps on other users’ boards. “If you see a fitness app that helps you reach your goals, you can download it right from Pinterest,” Julie Black, a product manager at Pinterest writes in a new blog post.
When people come across an app Pin, they only need to tap Install to download the app right to their iPhone or iPad, according to Black.
Apple has updated its App Store page on Pinterest to include separate app categories, including fashion apps, “App Store at Fashion Week,” “People + Apps,” and editors’ picks.
Apps are integral to the mobile Web. The IAB has contested the conventional wisdom that 80% or more of mobile time is spent in-app, but the share of time-spent is still massive.
Yet, with millions of apps flooding the market, app-overload is increasingly a problem for consumers and app platforms like Apple. Letting Pinterest’s community separate the ripe from the rotten offerings could be good for everyone.
For Pinterest, adding apps to the mix could also be part of a broader effort to attract more male users. According to a Global Web Index social report, 80% of Pinterest users were female by May 2014. And, while some argue that this is not necessarily a problem, Pinterest is clearly trying to encourage more male participation.
Among other changes, the company recently added a gender filter to its "guided search" feature so users -- both male and female -- could find more relevant pages.
Analysts say Pinterest’s value lies largely in its consumer data. The network’s users share “the kind of purchase intent data that’s more commonly seen on search engines like Google,” Nate Elliott, principal analyst at Forrester Research, explained in a recent report. “Just as ads targeted with Google’s data generate outstanding direct response, so will ads targeted with Pinterest’s data.